Today’s tip: Sama Sama Ubud, Bali.
The fabric in Bali is amazing. Everywhere you look shops are full of intricate batiks and bright woven ikats and each one is more beautiful than the next.
As soon as I got there, I decided I wanted to have some clothes made out of the gorgeous Indonesian fabrics. Sounds decadent to have clothes custom made, I know, but one of the wonderful things about Bali is that the people here are all artists in their own way and this type of service is incredibly cheap.
Sama Sama, which means welcome in Indonesian, is a small manufacturer in Ubud right across the street from the Camphuan hotel. The women who work here are so sweet and really good. You can have a large order – some people make full lines of clothing with upwards of 300 pieces – or just one single item made here.
It takes about a week to have a dress made, and you might need adjustments so depending on how long your trip is you might want to select your fabric and take it to Sama Sama soon after you arrive.
I suggest bringing a couple of your favorite, best fitting dresses – or other pieces of clothing you’d like a duplicate – to use as patterns and then buy sarongs made of your favorite batiks and ikat to use for the fabric.
A rectangular sarong is usually enough fabric for a dress, or a few pillow cases, or a couple of shirts – you just need to bring an item you want replicated or an actual pattern for them to work from.
Sarongs cost anywhere from around $4 – $100 depending on what type of material you get, so look around and find something you love. Dresses cost about $8 each to make – more if the pattern is more complicated. So including the fabric, you are looking at around $15 for a totally one of a kind, custom dress – and you’ll have a wearable memory of your trip.
You’ll need to take your patterns and fabric in and do a fitting with the lovely women who work at Sama Sama. Explain exactly what you want and they will give you a price and a time frame. When you return for your next fitting expect to need a few changes, which they will happily make for you.
There are plenty of shops selling sarongs – and fabric stores as well – in Ubud, but if you are looking to make a full fashion line, or want lots of pieces made, Denpesar is the place to go. The bigger city at the southern tip of the island is full of fabric stores, and you can have patterns made here too
They don’t have a website, but here is the contact info: 62 361 976 049 Sama Sama Jin Raya Campuhan Udud Bali